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tv   Starting Point  CNN  February 13, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EST

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♪ and i will always love you that was jennifer hudson last night. really stole the show last night at the grammys. she has a beautiful voice, too, but not as good -- i mean, really, listening to that, you're like, oh, god, whitney houston's voice are so amazing. others were too shaken up to perform. talking about athens burning banks, flames, over deep budget cuts. and president obama is sending his budget to congress in about an hour or so. the gop already blasting tax hikes for wealthiest americans. we're going to discuss that budgets this morning. "starting point" begins right now. ♪ i'm every woman >> oh, i'm so excited for our all whitney tribute because she is an amazing singer. how many people have not -- with their hairbrush in hand?
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oh, gosh, what a sad story to hear over the weekend. we've got new clues to tell you about. when they look at exactly what may have caused whitney houston's death, the autopsy is complete. the results are on hold. they're waiting for toxicology reports which they say could take up to eight weeks or longer. whitney houston was found in a bathtub at the beverly hilton hotel on saturday late afternoon. there were some reports that maybe she drowned an there are some sources who said it could have been a combination of drugs and alcohol. radar online is saying that police found prescription drugs in the room. lorazepam, a generic version of valium, xanax, valium. the coroner though is not commenting and says he will not comment until the toxicology results in in in roughly eight weeks. last night though the music industry honored whitney at the grammys. it opened with a prayer from the host, ll cool j. >> and although she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to
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have been touched by her beautiful spirit and to have her lasting legacy of music to cherish and share forever. amen. >> beautiful way to start. and later jennifer hudson paid tribute to her idol singing "i will always love you." listen. ♪ and i will always love you >> that was so sad. joining our panel this morning is darlene love. she's whitney houston's godmother and hall of famer as well. joining us also from the left is congressman marsha blackburn from tennessee. joe levy is contributing editor of "rolling st ining stone" and huffington post media group.
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darlene, we are so grateful for your time because we know this must be a horrific, horrific time for people who really knew whitney houston and loved her. our condolences go out to you. what are they telling the family at this point? >> i was so close to sissy because of our relationship. i met when she was 8 years old. so i have fond memories of her as a child. i've been trying to reach out to cissy, but she's -- which i understand. i have not been able to get in touch with her yet. i'm trying. i know where she is but i don't want to go over there unannounced. i want her to call me and reach out. and we're just waiting, you know. memories of her as a little girl are just unbelievable because i lived with cissy for a couple of years when we were all working for deion. she said, let's just make you a cousin. so i became her cousin and
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because i actually -- nippy let me have her bed when i lived -- stayed there -- >> they ousted whitney and you got the bed. >> so she took care of me when i was pregnant. she used to run and get me things and run to the store. what do you want now? i'll go and get it for you. you know? she always had this wonderful, wonderful spirit. there's a song by kirk franklin called "smile." and after all this happened that song came on the radio. it was just like one knock after another for me. >> how did you hear she had died? >> i sang last saturday night in new jersey and a bunch of our friends, we all went out after we got through the show. and we were talking about my christmas show that i do every year. and i have special guests that's always on my show. cissy has actually done my show three or four times. i said, you know what, you guy, it would be great. i just need to find nippy and let her find my christmas show. not know that she was already dead. we were talking about her doing
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my show and, well, do you think she can do it? you know, we heard, you know, she can't really sing anymore and i was saying, you always standing up for her. and i was like, you don't know whether she can sing or not. and the people at the next people was also talking about her. so we said, oh, you guys are getting in our conversation. now you're really getting out of control. and they said no, no, no. we just saw on television that she died. and i said, what? and it was like somebody like stabbed me in my stomach. and i had to leave the table because the people at the table didn't know who i was and i didn't want to be overcome, you know, even at the table, you know, with all my friends. so my husband took me back to the hotel and i think that night i might have gotten an hour's sleep. >> her voice was deteriorating. you could hear it in the last song she did with kelly price. there's a videotape. very raspy. she lost her voice. did she know that all the toil
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from the drugs and really just the years of not taking care of that voice that she was losing her gift? >> i think she did. but also with me and cissy, we always prayed for one another's children. and the body is an amazing mechanism. it will reheal itself. so if you take care of it, you know, you can abuse it, but if you do what you're supposed to do, you know, like people have rehealed their voices, rehealed their bodies. >> "rolling stone" did a pretty remarkable interview with whitney houston and oprah did one and diane sawyer back in 2002. you really see sort of the turning point in her life was the marriage to bobby brown. so in love with her and then also just kind of what it seems in interviews -- the marriage to bobby brown came in 1992. and the troubles or at least the public view of the troubles came about eight years later, in 2000. there was a moment she was fired off the academy awards by burt
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bacharach who was a friend. her publicist denied she was fired. as situation progressed people began to walk away from her. professional associates, the publicists, people who worked with her could no longer cover for her. so there were problems. i'm not sure if we should blame them on the marriage to bobby brown. we weren't in that marriage. we're not those two people. >> in her interviews she said, listen, i love this man and i would follow him down the path to hell, basically, is the take away from some of those interviews. >> that's true. but, you know, addiction is a very, very difficult thing. you know, she also said quite publicly her worst demon was herself. and that's my point. once you are struggling with addiction it doesn't care how talented you are, how rich you are, how special you are, how elegant you, are it wants your life. >> so tell me about bobby kristina because there were reports she was hospitalized from stress. obviously she was apparently in that same suite at the beverly hills hilton. >> from what i can understand,
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bobby left the tour that he was on. >> he's come back. >> and he's come back. and now he's in california with her and that's all i know. i know she's not in the hospital anymore. >> you know, jamie lee curtis wrote something yesterday precisely about the point you are making about addiction and how you cannot blame any particular thing, a marriage, fame, whatever it is that we try to pin it on. and how maybe this can be a teachable moment about how much more of an epidemic it is. not just among the rich and famous, among college kids. i have two daughters in college. and you constantly read about or see somebody who has overdosed and often they're accidental overdoses. i mean, we don't yet know the final result of her death. but it appears as it could have been an accident of mixing alcohol and drugs and then getting in the bathtub. who knows. the point is, acknowledging the
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epidemic of addiction is something which we need to do as a culture. >> we'll talk more about it this morning, although and i agree with that, i do think though that there are some things that can exacerbate it. i think she talked a lot about it in her interviews, that sort of, you know, you're in love with someone. you will do what you think is the right thing to do and not worry -- she said all i wanted to do is be with him. that was it. she said that in ore oprah interview. you know, it will be interesting to see what the toxicology results are. i know you're going to take around with us for a little bit this morning. we've got other stories making headlines. christine has those. she's in atlanta. other look at the headlines. good morning. >> good morning. chaos in greece. riots rage as the country's parliament approves huge austerity cuts. 65 people hurt as police turned tear gus and stun grenades n. on demonstrators. the austerity play will pave the way for a bailout deal in
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greece. arab league coming up with a new plan to stop the slaughter in syria. they're calling on the u.n. security council to create a peacekeeping force and they're irking all arab nations to cut ties with president bashar al-assad's regime. syria's ambassador to the arab league rejecting the plan. he accused saudi arabia and quat tar of, quote, living in a state of hysteria. president xwm ready to release his 2013 spending plan today. he's asking congress to approve a budget that calls for $4 trillion in deficit redekz over the next ten years by cutting spending and raising taxes on the rich. in ten minutes we'll talk about the plan's chabs chances of thes survival with emanuel cleaver of missouri. santorum focusing on the primary states to derail romney's bid for the gop nomination. still trying to position himself as the only viable conservative choice in the race. >> we're going to compete obviously heavily in michigan.
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we're going compete in arizona. we think this is a two-person race right now and we're focused on making sure that folks know we're the best alternative to barack obama and we have the best chance of beating him. the next two races for the gop february 28th when arizona and michigan voter goes to the polls. minding your business this morning. u.s. stock futures for the dow, nasdaq, and s&p 500 all pointing to a higher open this morning. dow futures up about 75 points right now. investors feeling confident greece will avoid default now that the parliament passed that austerity package. all right. soulful singer adele going six for six in the gramlies last night winning everything she was dominated for. her performance got a standing ovation. she says her hits were inspired by heartbreak. >> this record is inspired by something that is really normal and everyone's been through it. just rubbish relationship.
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and it's gone on to do things they can't tell you how feel about it. it's been the most life-changing year. >> wow. what a voice. just 23 years old, inspired by a rubbish relationship and, of course, pretty i credible talent, huh? >> and what great revenge on a bad boyfriend, honestly, writing it down. holding it and saying she should have named him and said nah-na-na-nah. the entire music industry of course and at the grammys show mourning the loss of whitney houston including tony bennett who on the day that she died took the stage at clyde davis' pre-grammy party. he offered his condolences but then said this. listen. >> first there was michael jackson, then there was amy winehou winehouse, and now the magnificent whitney houston. i'd like to have every gentleman and lady in this room commit
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themselves to get our government to legal ize drugs so they have to get it through a doctor, not gangsters that just sell it under the table. >> he sort of had me fine up to the point where he said legalize drugs. i just didn't think that's what he was going. i was surprised by that. >> i was a little bit surprised to hear that. and tony bennett should know that's not the answer to the problem. going to the root cause, working with individuals, making certain that there is education so that, as we were talking during the break, the group around whomever is the individual, in this case a celebrity, is there to not be the yes man but to instill some accountability and some helpfulness. >> talking about -- >> the problem for these people wasn't that they were going to
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gangsters to get their drugs. that's not the problem. >> you get them from your mother's cabinet. >> that's also true. >> prescription drugs, right. >> and taking them now. >> these illegal pharmacies that are on the internet. >> tony bennett may not be well spoken but he has a point to make sheer and that it should be about education, not incarceration. we need to look at our policies. we need to look at how we as a society deal with this problem. >> what he said was legalize drugs that people aren't buying them on the street. >> now we know he's not an op-ed writer and doesn't write for the huffington post. just said. >> i gotcha. >> the point, i think, is fair, that the war on drugs has fade and we're not acknowledging it. we're spending over $50 billion a year fighting a war that's become a war in our own people, especially among african-americans and minorities in general. all the distinctions between crack cocaine and powder cocaine and we are seeing, you know,
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nonviolent -- >> so tony bennett so did not say that on the stage but i hear you and that's a conversation for another day. still ahead this morning, president obama is sending his budget to congress today. we're going to be talking to the congressional black caucus chairman who slammeded the president last time the budget came. we'll see what he thinks of this budget. and clashing over contraception. critics blasting the president's compromise saying it is not a compromise at all. and then "get real," the real arianna huffington reacts to the fake. we'll talk about that. you're watching "starting point."
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that's so sad. welcome back, everybody. the this morning president obama is going to submit his 2013 budget proposal to congress. the plan includes a tax hikes on wealthiest americans and targeted investments, including this. $476 billion for infrastructure upgrades over six years. $350 billion for job creation. $30 billion to hire teachers and police and firefighters. $30 billion to modernize schools. $2.2 billion in r&d for advanced manufacturing. also, it forecasts the deficit of $1.3 trillion by the end of the fiscal year. of course that is receiving lots of criticism already. joining our panel this morning is a chairman of the congressional black caucus, democratic congressman. nice to see you. "national journal" editor ron brownstein has joined our panel as well. let's begin with this, if you will, congressman.
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what do you think of this? originally you had said for the last budget proposal that you are wildly disappointed. what do you think this time around? >> well, i think the president is attempting to put forth a document that is realistic and addresses the needs we have at the same time. it's not going to be a pretty budget. it's going to probably have some difficulties over in the senate. and it's probably dead on arrival over at the house. but that's because of congress' dysfunctional and we are not going to sit down and try to work around the edges of the budget. i mean, the budget -- presented by the president, he understands that if it is ever going to be approved, his budget must budge. but the danger here is that we're going to struggle around without addressing the major problems. let me just say the president is getting a lot of criticism.
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i don't think it's difficult served that, you know, he has create all these problems. we do have a serious ailment as a nation and certainly as congress, we suffer from spendicitis but president obama is not the one who spread this disease. it was there when he was inaugurated. >> interesting disease metaphor. bracelets get to congresswoman marsha blackburn. i can throw the this to you. is congress dysfunctional? >> spending has been out of control over the last 50 years. and it's amazing to look at the grap graphs and see what has happened over that period of time. what we have to do is begin to ratchet that spending back down and do it aggressively. >> what do you think of this budget? >> i think the budget spends too much money. and it puts programs we don't want. i would go in and do across the board spending cuts. >> education. >> every year i've been in congress i have voted -- bliss, firefighters, cut, cut, cut. >> across the board. you do it across the board.
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our states do it across the board. our cities do it across the board. >> you were annoyed when pair they were going to cut military, right? >> front page of "usa today" has a thing about states and cities spending less. and, soledad, there are ways in the dod and pentagon budget to achieve some savings. >> where would you cut? >> they should be done. what you do is across the board and engage everybody to find those cuts. that's the way it has worked successfully in the states. everybody. 2% cut is the way to go about it. >> how do you do that in education? >> yes, you, can because there's a lot of bureaucracy and a lot of ways to get it cut. >> ask you a question? >> congressman, i want to ask you a question. we have had a decade where there was a prescription drug plan, wars in iraq in afghanistan, stimulus spending in which we have spent without providing offset revenue. spending has gone up 14% of gdp, federal revenue, the lowest since 1950. the president says we can close
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this gap without raising taxes on anybody below $250,000 a year. does the congressional black caucus believe, agree, that everyone below $250,000 a year should be exempt from any taxation to close the gap? >> not from my tags xags. i think the president is right and it's not just the congressional black caucus. i think the majority of americans understand that when you have a problem, an economic problem in your house or whether it's in the nation, there are things you do, cut spending and look for new sources of revenue. people who earn under $250,000 are not rich. and they can still continue to function with the tax code as it is. people who are above, there should be some kind of sure tax. this is the home of h&r block. henry and richard block started this company. henry block, republican all his life, said to me that he doesn't understand what's going on when people are saying they need to
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protect him from having to pay more taxes. he knows a little bit about taxes, i think. so i think we've got to be able to cut spending at the same time raising revenues, even ben bernanke has said that you got to be careful about making major cuts because the economy is still fragile. >> did you want to make a point? >> yes, just wanted to ask you, congressman, do you acknowledge that this budget is really dead an arrival, we're discussing it's not going to go anywhere. are you concerned about the fact that the president now is putting forward a budget that is going attorney crease spending and tim late the economy but, in fact, in the past with his other two budgets he's focusing on austerity measures and belt tightening. clear, this is a political document. and in the meantime your own community is decimated with unemployment over 13%. how do you feel about that? >> well, i try to speak to that earlier. look, this budget is a nervous
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breakdown on paper. it's not just president obama. i mean, i think he's put together a document that addressed education. we need to do it, community colleges need to be upgraded. we got to have training for real jobs. we've got a lot of jobs that are going unfilled because we don't have the technology in the heads of graduating college students to deal with them. but look, we are still in a recession. we're still struggling. unemployment is still too high in every major city in the country. people are struggling. so for the federal government to turn the spigot off completely i think is to push the nation into a deeper economy. that's not just me talking. some of the to be economists in the nation have said the same thing. >> congressman cleaver, thank you for your time. we appreciate it. got to take a short break. still ahead on "starting point," the reverend jesse jackson is going to talk to us. he's been comforting whitney
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houston's mom. he'll talk to us life this morning about a legend and friend. and "get real", a member of our panel, shows up on snl. kind of a rarity for us when we get to be with the person who is being mocked on snl a little bit. we'll talk to arianna huffington as she watches that, straight ahead. ♪ there's another way to minimize litter box odor: purina tidy cats. our premium litters now work harder to help neutralize odors in multiple cat homes. purina tidy cats. keep your home smelling like home.
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and welcome back. in our gt quet real" today one of our panel members, guest on "saturday night live's" weekend update. they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. here it is. >> let's talk about what rick
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santorum said yesterday concerning women in combat, namely women are a danger because women will react too emotionally with them in harm's way. >> santorum doesn't like men worrying about women he should quit the race and endorse newt gingrich. when newt sees it in danger he abandoned her fast. >> the accent. >> yeah. >> the accent was perfect. the hair, i don't know. >> quite the parody of arianna because her voice is so indistinct. very difficult. >> is it fun to watch that or do you get mad? >> no, i don't get mad at all. tracey allman so far has done the best accent interpretation. i think this was even better. the hair oh glow the hair and the jacket. i thought the jacket exactly what you would wear. >> and also, before, you know,
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she was flirting with seth meyer. seth was great. >> next time you can weigh in. still ahead this morning on "starting point," tear gas, grenades being thrown. greece is literally in flames this morning. we'll go to athens with the latest on the eye rots over big cuts from the government. and then we'll talk to jesse jackson about losing a legend. he's going to join us live the morning. you're watching "starting point." short break. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint
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♪ welcome back, everybody. it is our all whitney houston tribute on our play list on "starting point" this morning.
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welcome back. we're going to get right to the headlines. christine has those. why are you in atlanta this morning. >> good question. >> you don't know? no one told you? okay. >> i'm anchor for susan today. >> you're doing triple duty today. thanks, soledad. proximate cause stan's prime minister indictford contempt. the country's supreme court slapped him with charges because he refused to reopen cases against the president. pakistan's president is accuse of money laundering. if contempt, six months in jail. moammar gadhafi's son in house arrest. he was detained after giving a television interview. in it he declared an uprising was eminent in libya where his father was once dictator. gadhafi won't be sent back to libya. back in september they would not extradite him over fears he would be killed if he returned. washington will become the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage today.
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washington's democratic governor will sign that bill. it was passed last week but will not take effect until june. the signing will spark a new balt as opponents look to get the gay marriage law on the ballot in november and overturn it. tiger woods will have to wait a little bit longer to end his route on the pga tour. he was in position to win yesterday at pebble beach but phil mickelson left him and others in the field in the dust. tiger hasn't finished first in a tour event in 21 months now. u.s. stock futures all up right now. why? the same reason they were all down last week, greece. investors were concerned then about greece and default but now the greek parliament passed a strict austerity package over the weekend, default looking a little less likely. >> kri christine, thank you very much. controversy and the white house over the contraception
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plan. it required religious employers such as universities and charities to cover contraception in the employee health plans. it upholds the requirement but shifts the responsibility for actually paying for it away from the employer and on to the health insurance provider. president obama said this about the change. >> as we move to implement this rule, however, we have in mind there's another principiple at stake here. religious liberty. >> not everybody is buying it as a compromise. let's begin with you because this is what we were talking about. although you were remote last week. >> last week, yeah. >> despite what the president was trying to do is move the fight off of this religious liberty issue. how come the compromise doesn't seem like a compromiscompromise? >> because it does not move it away from the religious liberty issue. the point remains that under the obamacare bill you still are going to have these employers, who are religious-based,
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religious organizations based, who still have to make this available and it does not fit with their mission. it is about religious liberty. it's also about the fact that this bill, this legislation, is so flawed. the implementation is so flawed that what we need to do is take it off the books and start over. there was the promise if you like what you have you can keep it. that has not been there. they are not up over, what is it, 1700 waivers have been given to the bill. >> let's take the contraception because we could be here the rest of our lives. >> exactly. but it's part of that problem. and you're not going to fix it with saying, well, let's compromise this. what they're doing already, it's so dplaued, they've got to tweak this, fix that. it isn't working. >> when you look at it through the lens of contraception, the culture wars is astonishing. it's contraception has never been an issue it says it is now. the house republicans voted to defund planned parenthood.
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mitt romney wants to eliminate all federal fund for any family planning. and now you have this battle over contraception in the health care law. 28 states already require contraceptive equity, being treated the same way as employer who provides prescription drugs. it is not a simple answer. at pretty thin read of compromise saying that the insurer has to pay for it because at net savings to them to provide comp tra exception rather than pay for pregnancy. it's not going to make the issue go away. socially conservative voter, catholics, who may be unhappy about this. there are a lot of women on the other side of the ledger who will look at the totality of what they're talking about contraception and think this is too far for them. >> said about the government, the book, and also makes it clear how hypocritical mitt romney's being when he suddenly
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agas at that when massachusetts already had that on the books. where was he when it was on the books. on top of it, it's not just women specifically catholic women. an institute did a survey that said 98% of catholic women have used contraception. 98%. if they have a huge issue with the catholic church, they have a big problem with the people. >> we've seen a lot of church leadership talking about religious liberty in the contraception issue. isn't there a risk that the leadership feels this but the actual people who follow the leadership, i mean, they may be breaking church rules by using contraception but they consider themselves practicing catholics. >> they appreciate in the mission and point of the church and the standing 57d tand the b of the church. they hold these beliefs. they hold these beliefs to be true. this is a religious liberty issue.
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it is further than all the states, ron. you know that. >> the congressman has a point though. >> obamacare goes further than the ruling in all the states because it gets about the sterilization. those are different issues. and the issue with what is happening with the issue with the catholic church, it deals with causing them to violate their faith and their beliefs. >> catholics when polled, a large number of catholics, larger than half the number said i would like to have the church running an institution like a school or a charity or a hospital, they say i would like the church to pay for contraception which runs somewhere between $600. >> this is government coming in enforcing the church. >> there are a lot of -- i agree with the congressman. there are a lot of catholics even if they agree on the pins principle doesn't like the government coming in and telling us. if you talk about the raw politics of it, there is another
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side of the ledger here. if you look at everything that has happened this year from defunding pa ining planned pare rick santorum saying the supreme court decision was wrongly decided, there is a risk if you add all of this up that republicans are opening up an entirely new front on the war where the country is not as divide as abortion. most americans believe contraception should be widely available to people who want to use it and a risk that all of this together creates a very different image. >> there's a problem with the media, too, because the media very quickly have this headlines cultural war now dominate the election. >> that was ron brownstein. i don't blame myself. >> the a.p. headline, more important than the economy. not so. 57% in the latest gallop poll think the economy is the biggest issue. only 3% say all the cultural issues together are a big issue. >> values still drive votes. >> we're going to stop there. i can see how this morning is going to go.
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my gosh. all right. got to take a break. remember, commercials are what pays the bills here. "starting point" this morning, austerity plan approved president athens is burning banks and shots fire bombed. we'll give you a live report of what's happening there. back in just a moment.
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welcome back, everybody. let's take you to athens, greece, right now. there's chaos on the streets as lawmakers approve another round of austerity measures. police using tear gas and stun grenades trying to break up the protesters there. dozens of people have been arrested. inside the lawmakers approved deep budget cuts necessary for eurozone leaders to sign off on $172 billion of bailout money. matthew chance is live for news athens this morning. matthew, i was following your tweets where you said tear gas
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was burning our eyes. update us on what's happening there and just how bad it is. >> reporter: we're pretty secure it's just that we're in the middle of this terrible riot that was taking place in the middle of athens last night. 100,000 or more people clashing with riot police in the streets, setting fire to buildings, hurling stones and petrol bombs at the police. police responded with stun grenades and tear gas which was -- i've been in a few situations like this. this tear gas absolutely not good, stinging, my skin was burning, my eyes were burning. that's why i tweeted that. but, yeah, really chaotic scenes as protesters ran havoc in athens last night. so angry were they about austerity measures that they've now been passed beity greek parliament. the country is now in for more cuts in the years ahead, soledad. >> it looks like a mess. matthew chance for us updating on what's happening in athens. going to take a short break. still ahead on "starting point,"
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♪ make you feel like $1 million ♪ ♪ safe ♪ safe >> we are continuing our all whitney tribute here. that was "million dollar bill." when you realize how many genres she covered, she really never went into the hard core r&b, rapping genre, but she was great. i love her stuff. newark, new jersey, is where she found her voice. she began singing at the new hope baptist church as a child. look at this videotape. >> precious. >> you could tell she had a voice too then. parishioners there have many fond memories of her performances in front of the choir. >> powerful, powerful woman.
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just a gift from god. we're going to miss her dearly. >> i haven't slept. i have been up all night. just going over listening to her songs and reminiscing about her life. and what's going to happen now to her daughter, her mom, her brothers. but she's in a better place. >> the coroner has said that he will not release -- even though they finished the autopsy, they will not release information about the details in will they get the toxicology reports. >> and this is fairly typical in high profile cases of this nature. they want to be absolutely sure. so they are telling us six to eight weeks or longer. but the word we're hearing is that there was water found in the lungs. she may have drowned in the bathtub. there are reports that there were prescription medicines found there. that could mean absolutely nothing or it could be a bad
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sign of her problems continuing. it's very hard to say at this point. >> and she also obviously was in rehab over the years, and i think most recently as of may. even though she said she had kicked her demons, she continued to go back to rehab. >> whether it was madonna at the super bowl or bruce springsteen at the grammys, it is possible for artists to hold their audiences much longer. she could have had a whole other act in her career. we are doing people do that. it kind of underscores the tragedy. >> i think on oprah she talked about how she would see people in the grocery store and they would tell her they were rooting for her. moms would say, i wish my kids could hear you perform, or people would say, when are you going to put the next album out? >> that's what people want. when they love an artist, they want to hear them sing the songs they love. the artists -- what is difficult is they continue to want to make
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new records. but had her voice held up, had she been able to sing the songs that made her famous, audiences would have bloflocked to hear h sing. >> as a parent, and now a grand parent -- >> you're a grand parent? >> yes, i am. i have two adorable grandsons. jack and chase, 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. and i like for them to sing the songs that are kind of the sound track to our lives. the big one right now is "gotta get you into my life" by earth, wind, and fire. >> that's funny. it's really true. it's such a sad thing when you think of people who are battling addiction, and maybe even specifically celebrities. their fans root for them. so hard. >> well, also because everybody has someone in their lives who is battling addiction. whether it's drugs or alcohol. i had a daughter with an eating disorder. you know, any addiction is something which is so dangerous. and whenever anybody overcomes it, if they are in the public
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life, it makes you feel, oh, the people in my life can overcome it too. >> i think that's absolutely right. the public is always rooting for the artist. you don't root for the demons. you hope the angels show up. that's what you want. >> we're going to take a short break. you know what i'd like to see, you guys? i want to see the performance where whitney houston sang the star spangled banner. we'll dig that up. and still ahead this morning on "starting point," police are still searching for clus in that case on josh powell. a horrible story. but their search has moved to a recycling center. we'll tell you why people are digging through mounds and mounds of paper. also, very big day on capitol hill. the president's budget is getting delivered to congress in just about four minutes and 30 seconds, but who's counting? it includes tax hikes. will this be another big fight between republicans and democrats? we'll take a look, straight ahead. my friend.
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welcome back, everybody. our "starting point" this morning, new details about the death of whitney houston. the autopsy is done, but it's staying sealed for the while. whitney houston's godmother is with us in studio and we continue our conversation with her. president obama's budget being sent to congress right now. $1.5 trillion. higher taxes. and the battle is already underway. plus, if you missed the winners at the grammys, you just need to know one, adele. adele, adele. cleaned up. "starting point" begins right now. ♪ and the rocket's red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night
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♪ that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ o, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ and the home of the brave there's some new clues this morn being what could have caused whitney houston's death. the autopsy is complete, but the results are on hold. they are waiting on toxicology reports that could take up to eight weeks. whitney houston was found in the
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bathtub at the beverly hills hilton and there are some reports she may have had water in her lungs and may have drowned. also some evidence that there were prescription drugs in her room. radar online is saying that police actually found the drugs lorazepam and others. the grammys opened with a player from the host, ll kool j. >> and although she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to have been touched by her beautiful spirit, and to have her lasting legacy of music to cherish and share forever. amen. >> jennifer hudson paid tribute to her idol. she sang "i will always love you." here's how it went.
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♪ i will always love you >> darlene love is whitney houston's godmother. also joining us this morning marsha blackburn. joe levy is a contributing eder at "rolling stone." nice to have all of you. i know when you were watching whitney singing the national anthem, oh -- >> i have sung the national anthem before, and i never want to sing it again after hearing her do it. >> it's not just i loved her voice on that. not just the voice. but the joy. one of the things you realized you sort of missed from her in recent years was that -- like she is just nailing it, and she knows it, and she's so happy in that performance. you know, she's like smiling her way through, killing it, just nailing it. did you see over the last years that she just started to lose the joy in her life?
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>> yeah, i think so. unfortunately. she was trying to get it back. when you try to have joy and try to get it back at the same time, they kind of bump heads, you know what i mean? it's hard. i mean, she was the darling. she still will be the darling, as far as i'm concerned. trying to come back. and i think when you lose your voice, i lost my voice first for the first time when i was doing "hairspray," and it shocked me so bad because i couldn't believe it. i had been singing for 50 years, and i grew up in church too. and that's the hardest singing in the world, gospel music. and i said, i didn't lose my voice. and i went to my doctor and he said that my vocal chords were swollen. and that i had to go total on vocal rest. that means no talking to nobody. >> did she know that she had lost her voice? >> i'm sure she did. >> i don't think there can be any question. there was a concert tour that was scheduled in 2010. it was after her last album in 2009.
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and during those dates, fans walked out. they demanded money back. dates were cancelled. having seen her sing three years ago, i will say she could still sing, but the top range was gone. >> if you listened to her last performance, which was with kelly price -- let's play that clip. you can really hear the raspyness of her voice. >> i totally get that when people are tainted because they know of things that have happened or there's been a struggle in the past, that's the first place their mind will go. but what i can say, i can't speak for anything else. what i can say on thursday night, whitney was partying. she was happy. she was sober. maybe a little tipsy because she had some champagne. but we had a good time thursday night. and i will not let anybody say anything else about my friend because it's not true.
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♪ >> miss whitney houston, everybody! >> go ahead, i'm sorry. we were talking and your mic wasn't open. >> it's there, but it's not what it was. >> it's got to have been very difficult for her. as you were saying when your instrument isn't there and you have relied on it, and remember one of the best singers in the world, and to step out onstage, on a concert stage in 2010 and not have her instrument be there, not be able to perform in the way that she was, it must have been very, very difficult. >> i read a biography of maria cal as who had similar issues with her voice later in life. but it's always connected with
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what is going on in your life. i mean, that voice required so much care and attention. >> people don't understand the voice is a muscle. and you have to take care of it like you take care of the rest of your muscles. >> and she wasn't. did you see her falling apart? did you see her deteriorating? >> we did. >> i know sissy did a very well documented intervention where she came in with a sheriff and said we're taking you to rehab. >> we did see it, but it was like hope beyond hope, you know, that she's going to come back, she's going to make it, you know. but it's up to the person. >> and then you hear the denial of friends, you know. the friend was interviewed in the clip saying -- >> kelly price. >> she was sober except for the champagne. >> except for the champagne, she was just tipsy. and i think we all want to believe that there is no problem. and i think that denial can often accelerate all of the real problems. >> well, consistently in interviews she had maintained
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where she had issues with cocaine and marijuana and even pills that she always said that drinking was never her -- in an interview, i think it was on oprah, she said that bobby brown was a mean alcoholic, but that she never had an issue with alcohol. >> sure. but when you're dealing with addiction, and i'm not an addiction specialist, but one thing often leads to another. one triggers another. and that's why when you try to clean up and be sober, you try to be sober period, not a little champagne is ok. >> and the other thing is whitney, she never smoked cigarettes. and we were so upset when she found out she started smoking cigaret cigarettes. when i started smoking, the package said 100% tobacco. now you don't know what's in cigarettes. but to start smoking at an age in your 20s or 30s, that's really bad on the throat. maybe if you have been doing it
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all your life or whatever, you know, i stopped 25 years ago. but i smoked too. >> do you think they'll bring the body back here? >> pretty sure. i don't see no reason why they wouldn't, because this is where she's from. >> ok. we've got to get to some other stories this morning. now to atlanta where christine romans has our other headlines. >> good morning. president obama today unveils his 2013 budget. he is asking congress to approve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years by cutting spending and raises taxes on the rich. he also wants spending increases for transportation and education. in seven minutes, we'll talk about the plan's chances of success with a congressman from texas. arab league nations coming up with a new plan to stop the slaughter in syria. they are asking the u.n. to assemble a peacekeeping force in syria, and they are urging all arab nations to cut ties with president bashir al assad's regime. syria's ambassador to the arab
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league rejecting the plan, saying they are living in a state of hysteria. volunteers in washington state sifting through tons of paper at a recycling center this weekend hoping to find evidence in the josh powell case. powell killed himself and his two sons by setting his home on fire earlier this month. authorities confirming they received a tip that powell may have dumped some papers at the recycling center in the days before he died. former penn state football coach jerry sandusky requesting more freedom to visit his grandchildren. should get a ruling on that today. prosecutors are asking the judge to keep sandusky indoors after getting complaints from neighbors that he has been watching schoolchildren in a play background behind his house. and british singing sensation adele, the big winner at the grammys last night. she is rolling deep in hardware this morning, going six for six, winning everything she was dominated for. it was her first public performance since undergoing vocal chord surgery, and she gave her surgeons their due.
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>> seeing as it's a vocal performance, i need to thank my doctors i suppose who brought my voice back. so thank you very much. another buzzworthy moment from last niest happnight happe during the commercial break. chipotle's first public commercial. ♪ no one ever said it would be so hard ♪ ♪ i'm going back to the start ♪ >> that's right. that's willie nelson performing the cold play hit "back to the start" touting the company's position to go back to the start of sustainable farming. some critics saying it's better than any of the ads that appeared in the super bowl, soledad. >> i don't know about that. but i thought that was a
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terrific ad. and partly because you don't really know what they're talking about, you know. you are not really sure. it's not sort of like chipotle and all the trees say chipotle. >> and it's cool to hear willie singing cold play. it's cool. >> i liked the whole thing. i support that ad. still ahead this morning on "starting point," a budget battle really probably an election preview. the president is unveiling his final spending plan before the 2012 election today. and already, it is being picked apart. some are saying it's proof that the president 235failed. plus, relaxing no child left behind. we have dr. steve perry all fired up. she says that president obama is caving to special interests on this. and athens is burning. banks are in flaming over deep budget cuts. you're watching "starting point." we're back after this break. you know when i grow up,
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♪ saving all my love for you ♪ you used to tell me >> what i loved best about whitney houston, you could really always sing along with her. she was sort of in your range. >> if you have a three octave-range. >> i was thinking more in the shower alone. you could really sound like you could sound sort of kind of like whitney houston. welcome back. we are talking about the president's budget this morning. he is submitting his 2013 budget proposal to congress. the plan includes tax hikes on the wealthiest americans and targeted investments including these, $476 billion for infrastructure upgrades over the next six years. $350 billion for job creation.
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$30 billion to hire teachers, police, and firefighters. $30 billion to modernize schools. $2.2 billion for r&d for advanced manufacturing. we are joined now by republican congressman jeb hensarling, nice to see you sir. so in a nutshell, what do you think of this budget? it's been out now for 16 minutes. >> well, it's long enough to be bitterly disappointed. i mean, i'm bitterly disappointed in two respects. number one, the president told us that at the end of his first term he would cut the deficit in half. and instead, we have our nation's first, second, third, and fourth trillion dollar deficits. second of all, there's a debt crisis, and the president's budget doesn't deal with it. and what we have again are the largest debt we've had as a percentage of our economy since world war ii. i was listening to your program earlier. you're reporting on what's happening in greece. i mean, i don't think america could turn into greece, but i don't know.
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they have rioting in the streets. they have homelessness that is up. suicides are up. the debt is serious. and the president doesn't deal with the drivers of the debt. even if you gave the president every single job killing tax increase he's requested, that's about 16%, maybe 17% of the new additional debt that he's putting on the backs of the american people. it's a huge drag on our economy. and preventing job creation. >> so there's not one thing that you like? >> i must admit in 16 minutes i haven't read the entirety it. >> but enough to be bitterly disappointed. we heard you. but i give you a couple -- in all seriousness. >> it's trillion dollar deficit as far as the eye can see. >> we came into your segment listing some of the very small handful of things that are in this budget. again, $30 billion to hire teachers, police officers, firefighters. $30 billion to modernize schools. $350 billion for job creation. infrastructure upgrades at $476 billion.
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you're against all of those things? >> what i'm against is saddling this economy and future generations with debt that they can't handle. we've got to quit spending money we don't have. and we are borrowing almost three cents on the dollar. >> so you're against all of those things i just listed? >> i'm against trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. you will see a republican budget, a republican budget that puts the nation on a path to fiscal sustainability without raising taxes on small business people and job creators. so, you know, i -- i'd like to see the line items. there may be individual programs that we could work with the president on. but in the totality, raising taxes on small businesses and job creators and saddling future generations with more debt is not the answer. >> congressman, stand by for one second. >> soledad, it's not surprising that a republican like jeb hensarling doesn't like this
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offer. but it's clear this is not the last offer of the president but it's the first. last summer, john boehner and the president did reach an agreement, and john boehner could not sell it to his republican caucus, including members like those here today. >> he just glanced over at you, ma'am. >> he did. >> the question is, i think the issue is, is there any more appetite in 2012 than there was in 2011 for a deal that could inevitably include some tax increases but also have the president going much further than today in terms of controlling spending on medicare and medicaid? >> congressman cleaver says this is a nervous breakdown. hold on one second, sir. let me get to your republican colleague, marsha blackburn who is with us. congressman cleaver says this is a nervous breakdown on paper. >> because it is into avoidance. the federal government has an addiction since we have talked about that to the taxpayers money. and the point is this, soledad. the debt is higher than it has
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ever been. we have had nearly $5 trillion worth of debt come on the books in the last few years. ron and i being budget nerds who look through all of those historical tables, you know, when you go back, and i will do that this week, i'll get those historical tables, i'll look at where we have gone over the last 50 years, we cannot support this. when you look at -- >> hold on one second. let me get back to the congressman for a second. >> we can't afford it. >> ok. congressman, excuse me, sir, i have a little brawling here at my panel. you wanted to add something. >> well, let me just agree with marsha blackburn, who i often do. again, this is the highest debt as a ratio of our economy since world war ii. world war ii was a temporary phenomenon. this one is presenting red ink as far as the eye can see. at a time where we desperately need to create jobs in this economy. we're almost 13 million of our fellow countrymen are still out of work. we can't handle this level of
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debt. and it's not even a matter of cutting the budget. it's just making sure that the federal budget doesn't grow beyond the ability of the family budget to pay for it. and in that respect, the president's policies have failed and failed yet again. >> congressman hensarling, thank you for joining us. we appreciate your time. arana, you wanted to add something? >> just very quickly. the problem is if we don't grow the economy, we will not be able to get out of the debt crisis. i think there's complete agreement that we have a debt crisis. the same issue in greece. the problem, and why people are protesting, there is no path to growth in greece. the agreement that was passed by the parliament sees greece growing by 2013. no way. the same with america. if we don't grow, it doesn't matter how much we cut. we cannot cut enough to fix the debt crisis. >> that will be our final word on this as we head to commercial break. ahead on "starting point" this morning, mitt romney wins a big conservative straw poll.
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rick santorum says it was rigged. suggests that mitt romney paid for those folks. the romney campaign press secretary will join us this morning to talk about that. plus, dr. steve perry is fired up over dismantling of no child left behind. does the president need to do his homework on it? we'll talk about that straight ahead on "starting point." stay with us. ♪
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♪ it's not right ♪ but it's ok ♪ i'm going to make it anyway ♪ i'm watching steve perry in our monitor, nodding his hands as he is listening to whitney houston. the no child left behind program is what we're going to talk about. it's slowly being dismantled. president obama announced last week that these 10 states have qualified for waivers. and another 28 states say they are going to apply as well. here is the president explaining why he's done this. >> we said if you're willing to set higher, more honest standards than the ones that were set by no child left behind, then we're going to give you the flexibility to meet those standards.
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>> no child left behind was signed into law back in 2002 by president george w. bush, and it enjoyed broad bipartisan support briefly. now it's hard to find fans. our next guest, though, is a fan of no child left behind. steve perry is a cnn education contributor. i think i did a documentary on you once. 100% of the kids that graduate from his school, 100%, go to a four-year college. what don't you like the waivers? >> what it does is it dismantles no child left behind, which was the first real honest attempt to make sure that every single child in america was treated fairly. no longer could a school be good because the rich white kids were doing well within it while the black, latino, and poor children of whatever race did poorly. but over time what has happened, the unions and other special interest groups, has said that it narrowed the curriculum, but all it did was hold me, a public
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school educator, accountable for educating all children. >> but if everybody is not going to do well on the test, don't you need to go back and say we need to rethink this? 48% of you -- >> but that's not true. >> let me finish my question, dr. perry. 48% of all u.s. schools failing to meet federal standards. 81% of massachusetts schools. 27% of georgia schools. 11% of wisconsin schools. massachusetts has a reputation as having excellent schools. wisconsin not so much. what's going on in these numbers? >> well, the reason why the schools are failing is because an aachievement gap remains, meaning there are certainly students not performing well. the tests were created by the states themselves, not the federal government. the federal government gave them money and lo and behold they looked and said, they are not being serviced. so if you're not going to service those kids, we're going to take our money back and allow these children to go to schools that will service them.
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it's not done because somebody is poor, black, or latino that they won't do well. we have many schools throughout the country who have put these children in a position to be successful. >> arianna, you wanted to ask a question? >> the problem is that the law gave schools the ability to test children, but not the ability to improve their results. this is really the problem we are facing. this is about testing. not about improving education. >> he is disagreeing with you. why? >> it's absolutely not true, arianna. the money that was given -- the money that is given to us through title i specifically dictates that we're supposed to use it to improve student performance. all it's saying is that since i gave you the money for that purpose, you actually have to do it. this notion of teaching to the test is overblown. the test itself does not determine what the children learn. we determine what the children learn. the test says at its core these are basic skills that children must know and be able to do. when the kids can't do it, we
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can't throw the scale out because the kids are gaining weight and blame the scale. we have to own the fact that we are not doing what we need to do for them to lose the weight. >> dr. steve perry, always nice to see you even though you interrupted me this morning. maybe one of these days we'll get you in person. still ahead this morning on "starting point," mitt romney wins a key conservative straw poll. and an opponent hints that maybe it was rigged. we'll talk to mitt romney's campaign press secretary about that this morning. and then kelly price was the last person to perform with whitney houston onstage. this is a videotape of their last performance. she'll join us straight ahead. stay with us. ♪
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point." let's get right to a look at the morninging's headlines. christine roman has those in atlanta, georgia, this morning. let's go to athens this
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morning. athens burning. banks torched. violence breaking out in greece. 65 people hurt as police throw stun grenades and tear gas into crowds. demonstrators are angry over new cutbacks approved by parliament. this austerity plan would pave the way for a $172 billion bailout deal for debt stricken greece. a high profile trial now underway. bombs rocked a tourist center, killing 202 people there. he spent almost a decade on the run and was captured in pakistan. three of the masterminds behind the bombings were convicted and executed in 2008. moammar gadhafi's son on house arrest in niger. he was detained after giving a television interview. in it, he declared an uprising was imminent in libya, where his father was once dictator. gadhafi won't be sent back to libya, though.
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niger said in september they would not extradite him over fears he would be killed if he returned. a new survey says gas prices have climbed 12 cents a gallon since late january. the nationwide average is now $3.51 a gallon, and a report from aaa says they will be going up right through the summer. and big problems with icy conditions this morning in wichita, kansas. there's a thick coat of ice on top of an inch or two of snow, and that makes driving treachous. 16 counties under a severe weather advisory until 6:00 tonight. thanks, christine. the race for the gop presidential nomination is still up in the air after a pretty busy weekend for the candidates. the totally delegate count is mitt romney 124, newt gingrich 38, rick santorum 37, ron paul 27. mitt romney had two victories on saturday. he won the cpac straw poll with 38% of the vote. rick santorum was second with 31%. mitt romney also appeared to
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narrowly defeat ron paul to kind of sort of win the maine caucuses, 39% to 36%. there should really be an asterisk next to that, because there's some details there. joining us is the press secretary for the romney campaign. nice to see you. and of course you know what i'm talking about, the different in maine was 194 votes. ron paul will not concede because he says washington county is going to caucus on saturday, so he says it's not over yet. do you still feel confident that your candidate can keep the lead in that race? 194 votes is a squeaker. >> well, the state party declared that governor romney won maine on saturday. that they didn't think that the caucus that was still outstanding had enough votes that could turn it to anyone else. >> they said that about iowa too. if you'll remember. >> well, we're excited about the victories we had this past weekend. governor romney got a great reception on friday at cpac with his speech. it was interrupted numerous times with ah plauz.
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and then we went on to win the cpac straw poll not only at the event but also the nationwide poll conducted. and we topped it off with a win in maine on saturday. we were really happy with the results this weekend. >> here's what he said on friday in his cpac speech. let's play a little chunk of it. >> i fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but i was a severely conservative republican governor. >> what's that mean? what does severely conservative mean? >> he was a strict conservative. if you look at what he did in massachusetts, he came down on the side of life. he vetoed -- >> but he said severely conservative, which is not strictly. >> if you look in the thesaurus, strictly is a synonym for severely. he was a strict conservative in a deep blue state. he balanced the budget and did
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so without raising taxes. he left a rainy day fund. he came down on the side of life. all of the things he did as governor of massachusetts came down on a conservative side, which is really hard because the legislature was 85% democrat. so for governor romney to have been able to accomplish the things he did in massachusetts was quite a feat. >> so there are two people who know a little bit about strictly conservative, and that's rush limbaugh and sarah palin. and both of them say i have never heard anybody i'm severely conservative. and sarah palin said i wasn't quite sure what the word "severely" meant, just to your point about the source. let me ask you about the straw poll. as you pointed out, mitt romney was a winner in the straw poll, but here's what rick santorum said when he appeared on cnn's "state of the union" about that. >> that is standard procedure at all of these straw polls that, campaigns who want to win go out and recruit people and provide, you know, free tickets for them to come and vote. and there's nothing wrong with
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that. it's absolutely a strategy. we just don't think that's a good use of our resources. but governor romney obviously, you know, may have a different idea. >> so he was basically saying that governor romney bussed students in from the eastern seaboard so that he could win the straw poll. is that true? >> that's absolutely false. senator santorum has a history of making false statements. we're not going to let him continue to do so. he has done so about governor romney's record. that's absurd. >> there was no bussing by the campaign? >> no, absolutely not. absolutely not. >> they didn't buy tickets for the campaign? >> well, if you look again at everything that happened this weekend, governor romney didn't just win the straw poll at the cpac event. he also won the nationwide poll of conservatives across the united states. so again, we feel good about what happened this weekend. i understand that senator santorum is disappointed in his showing, but we're going to keep fighting. we are focused now on arizona and michigan and the upcoming states.
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and actually getting the delegates that it takes to win the nomination. >> all right, andrea saul. press secretary with the romney campaign. sounds like she is saying sour grapes. >> thank you for having me. kelly price was the last person to perform with whitney houston onstage. she'll join us straight ahead. plus, we'll take a look at celebrities and addiction. and president obama's budget is now in the hands of congress. christine romans will join us to break it all down. those stories and much more straight ahead. stay with us. h of sweetness. you'll be delighted to discover how good they taste. get your free sample of quaker oatmeal squares on facebook. dave, i've downloaded a virus. yeah. ♪ dave, where are we on the new laptop?
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♪ got you in a stranglehold, baby ♪ ♪ i want one moment in time ♪ when i'm more than i thought i could be ♪ >> are you taking pictures? >> yeah. >> because i'm singing along. this is what was such a great thing about whitney houston. it's the grabbing your hair
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brush, singing out loud, in the shower alone so no one can hear you, because you really can't sing as well as she did certainly. we have brad lamb joining us now, a bad board registered interventionist and the author of "helping the one you love." what does an interventionist do? >> well, you trap them and try and help them. when you're addicted, especially, it's hard to have a clear train of thought about what you want to do. >> sissy houston did this very thing to her daughter, whitney. >> but here's my conundrum. i was sitting backstage. i heard darlene love and others talking about her being tipsy a couple of nights ago, but she was sober sober by definition means you're clearheaded and don't have any drugs or alcohol in your body. if you're an addict in recovery you don't drink. even understanding addiction is
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confusing for families because somebody tells them, hey, i can drink now and then they are off to the races again. >> hold on a second. we have kelly price joining us by phone. and i think we can show some of this video of whitney houston performing on thursday with kelly price. kelly, i appreciate you joining us and our condolences to you. i know you were very good friends with whitney. >> yes. >> tell me about that performance. her voice sounds so raspy and not good. did you -- tell me a little bit about how she seemed to you on thursday. >> she seemed like she was fine. her voice is naturally raspy, kind of like mine sounds right now. but she was in good spirits. she sounded good on thursday night. she was celebrating. it was a pre-grammy party. we were celebrating my ndamukong natio -- my nominations. she wasn't scheduled to perform. she was a guest of mine. i was talking about her. she chose to perform.
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she came up the stairs and after we briefly spok and wead a hug, she asked for the microphone, and i gave it to her. >> of course you did. because that's whitney houston. >> she asked are for the mic. >> we are talking about how she seemed dishevelled and sort of out of sorts. and i know you mentioned in an interview we saw earlier that she had actually been drinking as well, and brad lamb who is here was saying that, you know, obviously that could potentially be a path for someone who's struggling with addiction. did she seem like something was awry? or was she just having a good time and it spiraled? >> no. i believe there was champagne flowing. she did have champagne. everyone was in celebration mode. we were toasting my grammy nominations. and she did not seem dishevelled. she was dancing. she was laughing. we all danced. we all laughed. we were singing, having a good time. there didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary with her.
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it actually made me very glad to see her that way, to see her looking so upbeat and so joyful. and jovial. it was a really, really good time. bobby chris was there with her. my two teen kids were there with me. and it literally was a moment of celebration. it was a genuine moment of celebration. and i was happy to see her that way. i think we all know that she's had challenges in the past, so to be able to see her that way was really good for me, as well as everybody else that knows her and loves her. it was good. she was in good spirits leaving the club. yes, she was a little messy as i was, as every other person was at 2:00, 3:00, 3:30 when i left in the morning after having fun half the night. dancing half the night. it was that. it was nothing more than that. i am shocked and alarmed. i would have never expected to get the call that i got on saturday because it didn't resonate to anything that happened on thursday. >> all right. so hold right there. kelly, if you don't mind, i'm
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going to go back to brad. she is saying everybody was drinking champagne. if you listen to some of the interviews that whitney houston has done over the years, she had some very low points. so kelly is saying she was happy and enjoying herself and celebrating her friend's success. >> but these are the lies and minimizations that people around people who are addicted say. i.e., she had a naturally raspy voice. she did not have that kind of voice. she had an angelic voice, a pure voice, that could hit the beautiful high notes. so the disease of addiction is the only disease that brings up the idea that you don't have a disease. and the people around the person who is addicted back it up. so kelly is telling this story of somebody that clearly the eyewitness accounts, the pictures, the stories -- >> well, she does look like a girl who rolled out of a club after dancing for hours. i have some photos like that too. >> but the problem is that as you said, alcohol is part of life.
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so sometimes it's hard to tell whether somebody is just having fun. >> hold on one second. kelly is trying to talk. >> you're asking me what happened thursday night. what happened thursday night is we were celebrating my three grammy nominations. whitney did speak with a naturally raspy voice. >> i think what brad is saying, and first of all i think he is talking about the singing voice, which as you know was not naturally raspy and it sounds very, very raspy in the performance. but i think what he is also saying is that even just drinking for someone who has struggled with addiction is sort of the path to hell. >> ok. well, if he is a professional, then he would be the one to know. and in that respect, if that's your professional opinion, i would have to go along with it, that you would know better than i know. but people are asking me about what i saw on thursday night. and what i saw on thursday night was not erratic behavior. i didn't see someone who was high. she was in good spirits. she got to the party before i
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did. she waited for me. and we had a good time. i can only speak to what i saw and speak of what i know. >> kelly price joining us by phone. again, our condolences. i know you were good friends with whitney. and she said when white me asks you for the mic, you hand her the mic. it's such a sad story. friends saying she was finally happy. >> but i think it was very irresponsible. if the professional says something, it's perhaps a moment for all of us to take into account. especially when it's somebody we love, who has had an addiction problem and they are drinking, this is a problem. it's not that they are happy and jovial and celebrating. there is a problem. and that's something that will be perhaps good to talk about. still ahead this morning on "starting point," the president unveils a new budget plan. christine romans will join us to break down all of the details to figure out how it will affect us. [ male announcer ] this was how my day began.
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largest financial planning company. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you, one-to-one. together, for your future. ♪ welcome back, everybody. president obama's budget has been delivered to congress. happened just about 53 minutes ago. it includes tax increases to help bring down the deficit. how does it affect us individually? christine romans has a breakdown in today's "smart is the new rich." also helps to be the name of her book. good morning. >> any president's budget as you know is aspirational, and in an
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election year it's hypothetical, right? i'm sure your panel will agree. but let's talk about the provisions that the president is hoping will appeal to the middle class, people trying to put a kid through school or trying to save money and make ends meet. to college students, there would be tax breaks for college students and their families on tuition. this would be an expanded college tax credit, making it permanent. for universities, there would be more money for work study programs and also keeping the pell grants right up there now at $5,635 through the year 2014-15 school year. for middle class workers, a payroll tax cut, making it permanent. that's that $40 a paycheck that people have been getting, the president wanting to make that permanent. you can see very clearly, soledad this is an attempt to go right to where we feel it, the pocketbooks of the middle class, to try to sell them on some of these measures. because all of these are the kinds of things that the middle class have been complaining about, right? the cost of tuition, paychecks that don't go as far and the
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like. >> as you pointed out, it's hypothetical and probably won't even get through congress. all right. appreciate it. we have to take a short break. "end point" is up next with the panel. stay with us. uh oh.
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ok. a-y. [ male announcer ] buy a waterproof pantech element for $249.99 and get a 4g burst smartphone free. only from at&t. whitney houston with "i'm every woman." all right. time for "end point" with our panel. >> the president's budget is too big. it spends money we don't have for programs the american people don't want, and i think it's going to be a point of conversation all the way from now to november. >> you have been on the set at the time that budget was delivered. all you know is the bullet points that i have said and talked to with your congressman on commercial.
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>> i know what the historical tables hold, and i'll be looking at it. ron and i will go through those. >> we're going to spend a lot of time talking about taxes all year. but this morning with whitney houston i think is a reminder that tragedy can find you in every tax bracket. >> that is so true. so true. >> the budget is really a campaign document, not a budget. it's not going to go anywhere. i actually like what's in the budget. i like the extra infrastructure spending. i like the pell grants, the money for teachers and policemen. but why didn't he do that in 2012? or the 2011 budget? when he bought into the whole idea of austerity as the way to go. >> that is it for "end point." my end point is going to be whitney houston. i hope if there is any lesson out of tragedy, it is for people that struggled with addiction for her whole life, especially after her success in "the bodyguard." and friends and family couldn't help her, because it


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